News | Aug. 26, 2021

DoD Releases Revamped Tenant Bill of Rights

By 2nd Lt. Jymil Licorish 316th Wing Public Affairs

The Department of Defense revised the Military Privatized Housing Initiative Tenant Bill of Rights, including all 18 tenant rights, and made it available for residents Aug. 1, 2021.  

The new TBoR, comprised of four additional tenant rights, addresses rights to records of extensive maintenance history, a dispute resolution process, basic allowance housing payment segregation, and standardized common documents. This version will be included in all plain-language briefings and in the pre-Permanent Change of Station contract provided by the Military Housing Offices (MHOs).  

All military housing project owners have already implemented 14 of the 18 tenant rights upon approval of the Universal Lease, which requires unique addenda to address additional state-specific legal requirements. Therefore the Universal Leases, which can be used across all the service branches, are not yet implemented and will become effective at various times over the upcoming months upon submission and legal review.  

According to the Universal Lease, the formal dispute resolution will be sanctioned by the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy (SAF/IE) designated installation commanders as the deciding authority under the Universal Lease.

During the 1990s, the DoD curated a plan to upgrade to the military housing sector with the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MPHI) due to the necessity of more habitable housing units. This allowed the military to provide safe, quality, affordable, well-maintained housing for the community with the support of private partners. In February 2020, the DoD announced that the defense secretary and the uniformed service secretaries signed a Tenant Bill of Rights (TBoR) providing 15 of the 18 tenant rights for active duty privatized military housing residents that were included in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In addition to the guidelines that allowed privatized military housing, the TBoR was established to protect the rights of those residing in the housing units and allow them to work with the adequate resources to expeditiously resolve any issues or concerns. 

With the four additional tenant rights, the DoD continues to prioritize fair treatment to all Airmen and families in privatized housing. By addressing concerns such as dispute resolution, the DoD recognizes the enduring hardships of the tenants and aims to support Airmen and their families. It also provides a means of empowering optimal focus on the mission by limiting the issues for the privatized military housing community.

“The expanded rights protect tenants and offer recourse if their housing concerns are not adequately addressed,” said Col. Sara Deaver, Air Force Civil Engineer Center Housing Division chief.

Tenants should contact the Joint Base Andrews Military Housing Office (MHO) and their project owner for information about availability for the final rights. For more information regarding the revised MPHI Tenant Bill of Rights and implementation guidance for dispute resolution, please review the Military Privatized Housing Initiative Tenant Bill of Rights when it is possible.